Archive | circus RSS feed for this section

mid-century lamps and UO lounge chair update

4 Apr

Just wanted to update everyone on a few UO-related items, one circus-related, another comfort-related.

Circus seal lamp, UO, $48

Wish I’d seen these before writing my recent circus post (here).  Popped into the UO shop near home this afternoon, and spotted these excellent ceramic circus seal lamps.  They’re not cheap, at $48 apiece, but they come with a shade and you could probably get away with buying only one.  (I’m normally a fan of symmetry when it comes to table lamps, and would usually get a set of two, but the seal is kitschy enough to work alone).

As you can see in the photo at top, UO also sells a rabbit lamp in green and yellow, but it sufficiently reminds me of the bunnies by indie rock poster artist Frank Kozik (above), and therefore sufficiently creeps me out.  I could totally see it in a college dorm, though.

Siamese cat TV lamps, Ebay, (currently $46)

The ceramic animal lamps also remind me of a favorite Ebay search item – the vintage ceramic TV lamp.  Like some weird cross between Halloween pumpkins and “Color Me Mine,” these lamps were ostensibly created in the 50s and 60s to protect viewers’ eyes from flickering screens in darkened family rooms.   As described on, most people who bought TV lamps did so because they were fun and cool.  (Check out the eyes on these Siamese cats – they glow!)  Some TV lamps (named because they sat on top of the TV set, back when TV sets had ‘tops’) even double as planters – great for the little green thumb in your family.   We used to have a cat similar to the Siamese one featured above, but unfortunately, it didn’t survive the trip on the way to our new home. 

Two Lulu chairs in situ

And in an earlier post about UO chairs, I’d mentioned that I would get back to everyone about the quality and comfort of their offerings.   At about the same time, my friend Farrah mentioned that she’d just ordered two Lulu chairs in the light tweed color.   I hope she doesn’t mind that I swiped her photo (above) – but the chairs just look so great in her room.  So far, the report has been all good.

I didn’t have the same experience with the rocker, unfortunately.  Saw it in the shop and wasn’t all that impressed.  The seat is very low to the ground, and the cushion is very thin.  So I’d definitely hold off on that piece, especially if you were considering it for a nursery, until you can experience it in person.

Til Monday — take care and happy Easter!


bringing the circus home

12 Mar

 Old carnival water fountain, Olde Good Things

There’s a huge architectural salvage shop in the Flatiron/Chelsea area of Manhattan called Olde Good Things.  The prices are mostly nutty, so I haven’t really shopped there.  But for a few weeks during the spring and summer, their inventory spills out onto the street, revealing some quite amazing finds.  I used to pass by the store on my way to work and find myself fantasizing about this huge pair of lion statues.  On closer inspection, I noticed a spigot inside the wide-opened mouth (right by the fang), then discovered another pipe down by the base, near the tail.

My Encyclopedia Brown-style curiosity piqued, I constructed a little story in my mind about the backstory of these adorable circus runaways.  I’m assuming they used to grace the entrance to a carnival, as water fountains.  How cool would that be as a child to stick your head in a lion’s mouth for a drink of water?!

In all this time, I haven’t yet mustered the nerve to approach an OGT employee to ask about the origins of these fountains. It doesn’t really matter.  And to most people, I’m sure they look like bashed-up pieces of old metal.   But, man, if we had a backyard, restoring these lions would definitely be my summer project.

All of this got me to thinking about carnivals, circuses, and play time.   As readers of RFYO know by now, I’m very much NOT a fan of the theme room.  Added to the fact that I’m personally NOT a fan of circuses overall, clowns in particular, and caged animals of any kind, this could be a tricky one.  But I’ve been so inspired by some circus-related items I’ve discovered online that I just had to share.

Old Pottery Barn Kids catalog image

Remember this post about painting on the ceiling? If you’re going whole-hog on this circus thing, and you’re incredibly patient, the big-top stripes would definitely be the way to go.  Unfortunately, PBK has discontinued their circus bedding, which is incredibly sweet and well-designed.  But I actually prefer a design from Boodalee Kids.

Boodalee Circus Tree Twin Bedding set, Zac and Zoe, $95 (on sale)

This is not going to last.  At Zac and Zoe, a fantastic online retailer, you can get the entire sheet set for $95 (down from $190) or just the duvet set for $55.

 Circus Seal color palette,

As this color palette suggests, blue, red, orange, gray and beige look great together.  Blue and red seems to be a popular color combination in kids rooms nowadays, probably because it’s clean, bright, and unisex – great for shared rooms and small spaces.  It’s also easy to match and decorate around.

Boodalee’s matching circus pillows illustrate the point.  Also available at Zac and Zoe, I want them for myself.

Elephant rocking chair,, $67

Any circus-loving fan needs an elephant.  Available on, this rocker (shown above) is the nicest one I’ve found at this price point. 

L: Restoration Hardware (sold out), R: Bazoongi Kids, CSN Stores, $94

Given the reception the PBK rocketship tent received in an earlier post, I set out to find a big top tent.  My favorite by far is the one from Restoration Hardware, but unfortunately, it’s not being sold any more.  If you were interested, I’d scour Ebay for a week or so and one might pop up.  The Bazoongi one is cute, but a bit, um, bold for my taste. Regardless, I’m sure kids would love it.

Doorway Circus Puppet Theater, Restoration Hardware, $35

Alternatively, Restoration Hardware is now selling a circus-themed puppet theater – which may actually be just as fun, and more interactive.  As with the Boodalee bedding, it’s also on sale (from $89) so it may sell out soon.  What’s great about this piece is that the curtain hangs from a tension rod, so it’s easy to move and take down when playtime’s done.

Circus Penguin Print by Watotodesign, Etsy, $27

I just had to end the post with this picture.  Not sure how often you find penguins at the circus, but in the name of artistic license, this print gets a pass.  Watotodesign’s shop is full of whimsical animal prints, featuring penguins, elephants and monkeys.

As always, let me know if you’ve got any circus-related suggestions of your own.  I’d love to hear, and if you’re interested, I’ll follow up with another post sometime soon.